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Muslim Congressmen Fail To Stand Up Against Palestinian Massacre

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The US House of Representatives voted on January 9th on a resolution (H RES 34) aptly titled: “Recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, reaffirming the United States’ strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.” It was passed overwhelmingly by a vote of about 300-something to 5 (see the full voting record). The text of the resolution basically says that Israel can defend itself, it recognizes Israel for facilitating humanitarian aid to Gaza, and states the ultimate goal of the US is the continued existence of a democratic Jewish state. It also says Congress will work towards a cease-fire.

While some souls in Congress were brave enough to speak out against this resolution, such as Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, our two Muslim Congressmen failed to even show symbolic support for their Muslim brothers who are victims of a genocide being carried out by the Zionist state.

Andre Carson from Indiana, actually voted in favor of the resolution. Words cannot even begin to describe how that feels, but betrayal is one that comes to mind. Keith Ellison refused to take a position, simply voting “present” and thus neither affirming nor negating the resolution. Surely, they have some explanation for what they said right?!

Keith Ellison’s comments simply provided a lot of double-speak and political maneuvering.

I cannot vote against this resolution because I believe every country in the world has the right to defend itself.

I have been to Sderot and I have seen first-hand both the physical and emotional destruction caused by the rocket attacks launched by Hamas.

Israeli citizens living near the Gaza border have been repeatedly harassed and live daily in fear. Hamas, a terrorist organization founded with the goal of destroying Israel, has launched more than 6,000 rockets and mortars into Israel since 2005.

Last fall I voted for a resolution specifically condemning these rocket attacks into Israel.

At the same time I cannot vote for this resolution because it barely mentions the human suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza.

Over 750 people have been killed, including 250 children and 50 women, with over 3,000 people injured.

And even before the recent Israeli military operation, life for the people of Gaza had become increasingly unliveable — with shortages of food, fuel and basic medical supplies.

The 1.4 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip existed in a state of dreadful isolation, cut off from the world, often including the world’s media.

Earlier this year the people of Gaza broke through the walls separating Gaza and Egypt simply to purchase groceries.

We need to have compassion for the people of Gaza and the tremendous human suffering there.

That is why I will vote “present” on this resolution concerning the current conflict in Gaza.

History has shown that ground troops and air strikes have not resolved conflict in the Middle East. If we try to resolve conflict with military might and nothing else, then we will be no safer than we were before.

Diplomacy is necessary to save lives and yield a lasting peace with security.

The United States government, together with international partners, must play an active role in pursuing real peace with security in the Middle East.

Like a great politician, he said some of the right things about Gaza, and then failed to deliver. If he did indeed have compassion for the people of Gaza, he should have voted against the resolution and not “present,” thus refusing to take a stance. By voting “present” he simply undid any support he was trying to bring to the humanitarian situation in Gaza. For a system that teaches us the importance of every vote, and the significance of your voice, he showed the Muslim community some lip-service, but his actions in refusing to condemn the genocide in Gaza speak louder.

Perhaps it could be argued that the resolution does indeed have some truth to it. To anyone who makes even a cursory examination of the news though, they will see that the resolution itself is predicated upon a number of false precepts, chief amongst them is that Israel acted out of self-defense. A quick recap of some of the information pertinent to the resolution (please also see previous news roundup and comments for more):

  1. Israel broke the cease-fire, not Hamas. The invasion by Israel was planned months in advance. In fact, the Irish Times reported that no Israeli civilian or military member had been killed by any Hamas rocket from Gaza until December 27th, and that Israel quietly broke the cease-fire on November 4th (when we were busy with the election). This means the assumption of self-defense is no longer valid, to say the least.
  2. Support for a cease-fire is empty rhetoric. America refused to back a UN resolution calling for a cease-fire due to its special relationship with Israel.
  3. Israel has not facilitated humanitarian aid, but has in fact prevented it, and even targeted ambulances in its attacks.

These facts are not hidden from the public (in fact the articles here are all from non-Muslim media outlets), and definitely not hidden from America’s own politicians. Ron Paul, who voted against the resolution, made the following comments in Congress about this resolution (source):

The resolution clearly takes one side in a conflict that has nothing to do with the United States or U.S. interests. I am concerned that the weapons currently being used by Israel against the Palestinians in Gaza are made in America and paid for by American taxpayers. What will adopting this resolution do to the perception of the United States in the Muslim and Arab world? What kind of blowback might we see from this? What moral responsibility do we have for the violence in Israel and Gaza after having provided so much military support to one side?

…I am appalled by the practice of lobbing homemade rockets into Israel from Gaza. I am only grateful that, because of the primitive nature of these weapons, there have been so few casualties among innocent Israelis. But I am also appalled by the long-standing Israeli blockade of Gaza – a cruel act of war – and the tremendous loss of life that has resulted from the latest Israeli attack that started last month.

There are now an estimated 700 dead Palestinians, most of whom are civilians. Many innocent children are among the dead. While the shooting of rockets into Israel is inexcusable, the violent actions of some people in Gaza does not justify killing Palestinians on this scale. Such collective punishment is immoral. At the very least, the U.S. Congress should not be loudly proclaiming its support for the Israeli government’s actions in Gaza.

…The resolution in fact will lead the U.S. to become further involved in this conflict, promising “vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.” Is it really in the interest of the United States to guarantee the survival of any foreign country? I believe it would be better to focus on the security and survival of the United States, the Constitution of which my colleagues and I swore to defend just this week at the beginning of the 111th Congress. I urge my colleagues to reject this resolution.

Congressman Kucinich also had some strong (and eye-opening) words about the situation,

In Gaza, the United Nations gave the Israeli army the coordinates of a UN school, and the school was then hit by Israeli tank fire, killing about forty. The UN put flags on emergency vehicles, coordinating the movements of those vehicles with the Israeli military, and the vehicles came under attack, killing emergency workers. The Israeli army evacuated 100 Palestinians to shelter, and then bombed the shelter, killing thirty people.

Emergency workers have been blocked by the Israeli army from reaching hundreds of injured persons. Today’s Washington Post: 100 survivors rescued in Gaza from roads blocked from Israelis. Relief agencies fear more are trapped, days after neighborhood was shelled. Today, the U.S. Congress is going to be asked to pass a resolution supporting Israel’s actions in Gaza. I’m hopeful that we don’t support the inhumanity that has been repeatedly expressed by the Israeli army. The U.S. abstained from a UN call for a ceasefire. We must take a new direction in the Middle East, and that new direction must be mindful of the inhumane conditions in Gaza.

So alhamdulillah, it does seem there are a few brave souls in Congress who see the reality of the situation. The question arises though – where were our Muslim congressmen?! Should our own brothers not be at the forefront in speaking out against this massacre? Speaking in support of their brothers and sisters who are falling victim to an act of oppression which is something no less than fully-fledged ethnic cleansing?

Andre Carson voted for the resolution. Meaning, he pledged his support for Israel and the furthering of their “Jewish Democratic” state through the invasion and genocide of innocent Muslims in Palestine.

Keith Ellison gave his implicit support for it, by refusing to speak against it. We are not asking him to change the world, but is it really too much to ask that as a Muslim, you have the courage to take a stand against a massacre of Muslims? Is it too much to ask that you at the least simply echo and support the statements made by some of your fellow Congressman? Do you seriously believe Israel was in the right?

It is troubling that a Muslim congressman can be so clueless about international politics. Does he really believe what he said about Israel? This is either deceit, or the height of ignorance – unacceptable either way for someone in this field, and representing the Muslim community of America. While it is true he was elected in Minnesota, he did raise funds from Muslim communities all over the country, making us believe this would make a positive difference and represent our interests.

Muslims in America have long been involved in trying to make their political voices heard. Various organizations have been set up that are very politically active, trying to influence policies in Washington. We have been told from early on that the only way to make a difference in society is to get involved. Even in regards to Gaza, some organizations who work to defend the civil liberties of American Muslims have been actively sending out emails encouraging Muslims in America to “write to their Congressman” or to hold rallies, or take some other form of civic duty in an attempt to “make your voice heard” and influence change. The fact that many of these organizations’ action items failed to include basic duties such as supplicating to Allah for our oppressed brethren is a side issue – but it shows the extent to which Muslims have bought into the ‘work with the system’ mentality.

This fight to get people to buy into working with the system gained a huge victory when Muslims proudly welcomed Keith Ellison as the first Muslim congressman. Finally! After all these baby steps, a small victory. A step in the right direction. Muslims were finally becoming “mainstream” in American society. Keith Ellison was even sworn in with the Quran instead of a Bible! We finally had someone who could represent our voices. He could speak on our behalf in important forums where we previously lacked any access.

The basic premise of Muslim involvement in these arenas predicated on the belief that we knew the system was wrong. We knew that there are many things in politics that go against our religious principles. But we have tried to take a mature stance at objectively analyzing what we can do to avert the greater evil in favor of the lesser one. Have many Muslims lost sight of that? Definitely. Many who were more enthusiastic were often given a free pass because of progress that was being made. After all, we had a Muslim in Congress now. We can make strides in defending the civil liberties of American Muslims.

It was in that vein that many of us remained silent, when our first Muslim Congressman was chosen to be the Vice chair of a Gay Rights Committee. We were uncomfortable with this as Islam’s stance on homosexuality is crystal clear. However, many tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, and try to take a more ‘mature’ understanding that this was part of working with the system. He was making some compromises en route to achieving what we were hoping would ultimately be the greater good for the Muslim community.

Fast forward now to the recent crisis that began a few weeks ago. When it comes to Muslim issues, there is definitely a list of priorities. As a Muslim, I find it hard to place many things above an all out massacre of innocent civilians. While no one is naive enough to think that 2 Muslim congressmen will be able to put through a bill that will result in a sudden reversal of foreign policy, we do expect them to at least take a symbolic stand when afforded the opportunity.

Let’s make one thing clear: No one is denying that a Muslim congressman undoubtedly faces an undue amount of pressure, probably more than most other politicians – both within the Muslim community and the microscope outside of it.

The question that I have though, is at what point do we simply say that if this is the net result of working with the system, then it’s not worth it?

It is true that this one issue is sparking the debate, but it is a large issue, and one that comes on top of the blind eye that we turned to many other ‘smaller’ issues. It seems painfully obvious now to me, that this “system” is an utter failure. What happened here is only a proof against civic and political engagement for Muslims. I have been hearing the ‘dream’ of having a Muslim congressman since I was in high school. The dream has been achieved, but with no benefit to the Muslim community whatsoever. The hard work that has gone into this from all these organizations, all the money that was raised to fund these campaigns, all of it has been a farce. If they cannot even take a symbolic stance against a massacre of innocent civilians, then what good is there?

The entire debate of “voting for a lesser evil” in elections and other issues all become moot when even a Muslim in the arena cannot speak out against something like this.

Imam Ibnul-Qayyim said, ‘One of his (Shaytan) plots is that he always bewitches people’s mind until they are deceived. No one is saved from his sorcery except those whom Allah Wills. He makes attractive to the mind that which will harm it, until a person thinks of something as most beneficial, and he (Shaytan) discourages him from that which is the most beneficial, until he thinks that it will harm him. La ilaaha illAllah, how may people have been tempted by this sorcery!’ [Quoted from, ‘Aalam al-Jinn was-Shayateen by Umar S. Al-Ashqar].

What is even most perplexing is that we are not asking Ellison or Carson to do something unreasonable! Kucinich and Ron Paul’s comments were sadly much more Muslim than anything our own Muslims are capable of. Could Ellison not echo those same sentiments from his fellow colleagues?

If they cannot take even a symbolic stand against genocide, then there is really no hope for anything else after that.

It is seriously time that we re-evaluate our strategy on these issues. What is the real end game here? I do not disagree with the theory of making our voices and concerns heard, I am questioning the manner in which we do it, and the extreme to which we have gone. Is there benefit of working with a system in which Muslims, when finally making it to the stage, cannot stand up for what is important to us?

The Western Muslim society has slowly been getting more and more politically active (and savvy). While I do not discount political participation en masse, I feel that we have lost sight of what I understand to be our initial intention in getting involved – averting greater harms to our community.

What I have seen, however, is that this type of civic and political engagement has not become a last resort, or even a means to a greater end, but for many people it has simply become the ends. Our duty as Muslims is to do what is in our power. If you cannot change it with your hand, change it with your tongue, and if not with your tongue, then know it is wrong in your heart. If we are falling short in making tahajjud and praying for them in our sujood, if we are falling short in making dua for them in each salah, if we are falling short in helping them financially, if we are falling short in doing those things which make our supplications answered, if we are falling short in educating people, and falling short in establishing true Islam in our own houses – then I believe we have no business getting involved in a process that should in reality be our last resort.

This is not a call for complete disengagement, nor is it a call for sitting idly by. Politics is not the only vehicle through which society can be changed. We can increase our presence in the media, we can increase the dissemination of information on issues that affect us. We can still raise public awareness about the atrocities being committed. And in fact, we have to, because if there is one lesson in this – it is that no one else will do it for us.

As for those who believe that this stance is too harsh, and that trashing the system is ‘throwing the baby out with the bath-water’ – then I say this. If you still believe that this engagement is the proper course of action, then I ask what could have possibly motivated these Congressmen to favor Israel (one explicitly, and one implicitly)?

If it is really a case of “bad apples” and not a shortcoming with the system, then I challenge you and all the politically active Muslim organizations who backed Ellison with this: Send out emails on your email lists expressing your disapproval of what they did, in the same way that you previously encouraged people to support them. If you are a true believer in “writing your Congressman” and civic engagement – then write to Ellison, and these Muslim organizations. Let them know that you will not only refuse to re-elect them, but you will campaign against them because of this travesty.

Check out Keith Ellison at a Pro-Palestine rally just a few days before voting on the resolution. If you missed what the crowd is going crazy at, it’s when he said, “I am not here to condemn anyone.” Ironically, the last part of the video contains a talk by a Jewish professor who did have the fortitude to condemn the Zionist state.

[youtube QjagbIZzNcw]

Feel free to send this to your Congressman, or stick it on your placard at the next rally. As for me, my heart is too sad to think of anything other than this deep sense of loss in this time of crisis. May Allah(swt) give the Muslims victory over their oppressors, and grant the families there patience, and grant them all Jannatul Firdaws, and may He forgive our shortcomings.

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Omar Usman is a founding member of MuslimMatters and Qalam Institute. He teaches Islamic seminars across the US including Khateeb Workshop and Fiqh of Social Media. He has served in varying administrative capacities for multiple national and local Islamic organizations. You can follow his work at ibnabeeomar.com.

#Current Affairs

The New Scramble For Africa

Africa
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Africa is a blessed continent with resources and biodiversity that would impress anyone. Africa’s history in Islam (while neglected) played a major role, it was home to the first country to welcome the Muslims and allow them to practice freely. After the spread of Islam trough traders, regions across Africa became hubs for knowledge and trade. The richest man in history hailed from Africa and was Muslim, and his name was Mansa Musa. The riches of Africa have always sought after. People from all over the world have aimed to to do business or exploit the blessed continent. Unfortunately, the history of Africa is filled with strife, bloodshed, slavery, and holocausts. This rings true till today. The purpose of this article is not to dwell on the past, be it Arab influence or colonization. The events going on today needs out attention, we have ignored the struggles of our Muslim brothers and sisters in Africa long enough. 

The first major scramble for Africa was in the 19th century, when Europe carved it up like it was their property. The second was during the cold war, when East and West seek allegiances of newly independent African states. We are witnessing a third scramble that is less obvious, and more behind the scenes with “investments” and “wars”. It can be described as a cold war between China and America. 

African mines

Some see the resources they have like oil, chocolate, rare earth minerals, diamonds, etc. as a blessing (investors mostly), but to the people living through this every day it is a curse. Oil or mineral dependent countries in Africa suffer from enclave industrialization, limited diversity in their economy, and vulnerability to price shock. While this is happening, they see decay in their agriculture, manufacturing, and other trades. The continent is still traumatized by five centuries of exploitation. It is no easy obstacle to overcome. What we are seeing will only get worse as oil production is expected to peak in 2025, world scarcity will increase, and we will see more wars around oil. For the last decade, China has been using “soft power,” basically using money for leverage. This comes in the form of aid, trade, infrastructure projects, and loans. This is a plot to make them a superpower in the region. America, on the other hand, is doing what it has been doing since 1776, it is confronting Africa as a “battlefield,” basically running operations or anti-terrorism projects in dozens of countries that the American public is unaware of. 

One example is South Sudan, and the American campaign to split the Muslim country of Sudan to two. Before the split, China reportedly had invested $20 billion in Sudan. With American interventions occurring, China watched the events unfold. After the split the newly inaugurated president of South Sudan flew to China to secure an $8 billion investment. By 2013, China controlled 40% of their largest crude oil producers and was importing 77% of the country’s output. After unrest and bloodshed occurring in Libya, Mali, Sudan, etc, China has established a stronger effort with peacekeeping officers to protect their oil interest. As one superpower implements one tactic, another superpower follows its traditional method. Last year in Niger, American soldiers, including two commandos, were killed. This was surprising to me as I was unaware of American military operation in Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world with Muslims making 98% of its population.

We have seen a dangerous rise of commandos in Africa. In 2006, under Bush, 1% of deployed commandos were in Africa, by 2011 under Obama it had risen to 3%. It does not stop there, before stepping down from office, in 2016, 16.5% of American commandos deployed were deployed in Africa.

In 2006, only 70 special ops were deployed across the continent, in 2014 we have 700 deployed special ops in Africa. “None of these special operations forces are intended to be engaged in direct combat operations,” said Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Robert S. Karem. Despite this declaration, despite the deaths of soldiers in Niger, U.S. commandos keep finding themselves in situations that are indistinguishable from combat. 

In March of 2018, the New York Times released an article of 10 unreported attacks of American troops between 2015 and 2017. Despite these attacks and distrust towards the region, the Pentagon built a $100 million drone base in Agadez, Niger, regardless of the people’s concerns towards a base being built near their home. Our worldly desires is fueling this new scramble for Africa. Our need for resources, technology, and fuel comes at a cost. This cost manifests itself as the development of the rentier state (eventually developing into a kleptocracy across Africa, professional soldiers ruling the resource-rich lands or an expansion of the “war on terror”. 

Here are a few theoretical solutions, some are to be initiated by the government and some rely on people-power movements. The government needs to reduce corruption and that can be done through a menu of policies created to control and maintain corruption. Controlling corruption can be done through; changing the selections of national agents, modifying the rewards and punishments systems, and restructuring the relations between national agents and users to reduce monopolies. Another venue the government can explore is directly distributing resource revenues to the people. This is practiced in Alaska, and has been wildly successful. Finally, the government can invest the resource revenues in social development. Harnessing the revenues for human development to include education, healthcare, job training, and housing will lift up the urban and rural poor. 

The people can pressure the government to pursue any of those ideas mentioned. A power-people movement can look different depending on the need. One idea is that consumers in the West to boycott African minerals due to corruption and/or exploitation. This can develop into “smart boycotts” where we use internet hedge funds to attack corporations that exploit and feed into corruption. Developing campaigns like “blood diamonds” in the past have been proven effective to generate awareness and bring vital change. The same was done with the ivory, and now even China has laws making the product illegal.

People-power movements work and have helped locals rid of unwanted corporations in their region. Ken Saro-Wiwa, was a leader of the Ogoni people of the Niger Delta, he rallied against the abuses of the Nigerian military regime and the oil pollution created by multi-national companies, which resulted in a change of consciousness for the better. 

In his words: “Whether I live or die is immaterial. It is enough to know that there are people who commit time, money and energy to fight this one evil among so many others predominating worldwide. If they do not succeed today, they will succeed tomorrow.”

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#Current Affairs

CAA – NRC Row: Why There Is More To It Than An Attack On Secular Ethos

indian economy caa
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‘Indian Muslims have nothing to fear. No one knows what CAA/NRC is all about. They are simply protesting because they are misled’, thus proclaimed a former classmate of mine who himself left India for brighter prospects during PM Narendra Modi’s regime but continues to believe in his promise of ‘acche din’ (good days).

Today the whole of India is divided over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which is to be followed by the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Thousands of students from India’s premier institutions like Jamia Milia Islamia, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, Aligarh Muslim University, Delhi University, IITs and IIMs are thronging the streets to protest against the bigoted law.

The ripple effect has even reached top educational institutions across the world including Harvard, Oxford, Yale and MIT. From lawyers to celebrities to academicians, people across the world, belonging to different religions are raising their dissent against the law which is deemed to be against the secular fabric of the Indian Constitution.

What is this law all about?

The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) provides an accelerated path to Indian citizenship for Hindu, Sikh, Buddhists, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious minorities from three countries – Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is an official record of all those who are legal Indian citizens. So far, such a database has only been created for the northeastern state of Assam which has been struggling with the issue of illegal immigration for a long time. In Assam 1.9 million people were effectively rendered stateless after NRC and were put into detention centers. Out of these 1.9 million, around 0.6 million are Muslim.

On November 20, Home Minister Amit Shah declared during a parliamentary session that the register would be extended to the entire country.

Why the uproar?

At first glance the CAA seems to be a harmless law, which the government claims was made to help those who are facing religious persecution. However, the question arises why only those suffering religious persecution? Millions of people are suffering persecution in the name of race, region or language in India’s neighboring countries.

Even if we talk about just religious persecution, why does the law only accommodate those from three neighboring countries? Rohingyas are suffering brutal persecution in Myanmar. Christians are suffering in Sri Lanka. Tibetans have been persecuted because of their beliefs.

Many people opine that the CAA is not problematic in itself. It becomes problematic when it’s seen in conjunction with NRC. When NRC is implemented, millions of people will be declared illegal due to lack of documents in a country where the masses live in villages and documentation is a complicated bureaucratic process with a high error rate. According Professor Shruti Rajagopalan, the State Of Aadhaar Report 2017-18 by IDinsight, covering 2,947 households, found that 8.8% of Aadhaar holders reported errors in their name, age, address or other information in their Aadhaar letter (Aadhaar is the identity number issued to Indian residents). In the NRC, a spelling mistake can deprive one of citizenship and 8.8% affects over 120 million people.

They will be rendered stateless and sent to detention centers with inhumane conditions. Out of these ‘illegals’, everyone but Muslims can seek accelerated citizenship under CAA.

The fact is that even if we view CAA alone, the very act of offering citizenship on the basis of religion goes against the fundamentals of secularism and equality as mentioned in the Indian constitution.

UN Human Rights chief, Michelle Bachelet has termed the CAA as “fundamentally discriminatory”.

In this context, it’s also relevant to understand the revolt that is happening in the north eastern state of Assam. While the rest of India is against CAA and NRC for exclusion of Muslims, the people of Assam are protesting against the inclusion of 1.3 million undocumented Non-Muslims, as identified in the NCR. According to them, if these foreigners are granted citizenship under CAA, they pose a threat to the language and culture of Assam.

Police brutality against protesters

Student fraternity across the world was shocked when students of Jamia Milia Islamia who were peacefully protesting against the CAA were brutally attacked by police forces. Police accused students of destroying public property and fired tear gas shells, beat them up mercilessly and even open fired at them. They barged into the library, mosque and even the women’s hostels without authorization.

Video footage shot by students and reviewed by Reuters show students, including women, hiding beneath desks in the library, cowering in restrooms, jumping over broken furniture in an attempt to flee. It was later verified that none of the students had anything to do with some of the buses that were set ablaze outside the campus.

Reports of even more horrific police brutality surfaced from Aligarh Muslim University. A student’s hand had to be amputated after a tear gas shell hit him and exploded. Hundreds of students were severely injured.

Section 144 of the Criminal Code which prohibits any gathering of 5 or more people has been imposed across the entire state of UP. Internet has been shut down in several parts.

Videos showing police destroying properties of innocent Muslims in UP have surfaced which the ‘Godi media’, a term coined for PM Modi’s lapdog media, refuses to acknowledge. Innocent youth are being dragged out of their homes and their properties are being seized on the accusation of destruction of public property. Death toll has crossed 22. Thousands are in custody.

It’s not surprising that Narendra Modi is being compared to Adolf Hitler.

India’s secular ethos

Religion based politics is nothing new in India, the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi issue and Gujarat riots being two of the most glaring examples.

However, in day to day life ‘Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Isai, Aapas mein sab bhai bhai’ (Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians are all brothers) has not just been a slogan but a way of life.

Muslims in India have held prominent positions in every sphere of life, be it arts, literature, sports or leadership and have been admired by Hindus and Muslims alike.

The current BJP government aims to change all of that with its RSS-inspired fascist ideology of Hindutva – Hindu nationalism andHindu rashtra’ (nation).

India’s faltering economy and dejected youth

One of the heartening aspects of the CAA/NRC uprising is that it is not being seen as just a Muslim struggle. It is rightly being seen as a struggle to uphold the secular ethos of the Constitution of India. However, there is more to this struggle which is being led by the youth of the country.

Underlying the CAA-NRC struggles is the country’s deep disappointment with PM Modi’s lofty promises of ‘acche din’ (good days) which gave the country a new hope . Among other things he promised to make India an economic superpower. Today the nation’s economy is in doldrums which has led to frustration and dejection in the youth.

IMF’s last forecast for India was 6.1% growth in 2019. This has slumped to 4.9%. Unemployment is at a 45-year high and industrial growth rate is negative.

One of the major reasons for the economic slowdown has been the government’s radical decision of demonetization in 2016 which sent the entire country in a turmoil and failed to achieve any of its stated objectives. Small businesses took a further hit with the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

At a time when the government’s primary concern should have been the faltering economy, the government diverted the country’s attention to the Babri Masjid -Ram Janmabhoomi issue. As soon as that ended it announced the CAA and NRC, continuing its propaganda of Hindu nationalism as opposed to real issues faced by the nation.

At this critical junction the economy can be expected to take a further hit by the cost of the implementation of the CAA and NRC exercise.By conservative estimates, nationwide NRC will cost Indians a whopping 500 billion rupees in admin expenses alone. Add to it the massive cost of building and maintaining detention centers across the country and the nation looks set for an economic and logistical nightmare.

Today the educated youth of the country is voicing its frustration at the price the country has been paying due to the government’s fascist ideologies. They no longer want the world to know India for its age old mandir-masjid disputes, mob lynchings, communal riots, human rights violations, poverty or illiteracy.

The current uprising is not just against one particular law.The people, especially the youth of India are protesting for their rights to work together as one nation to take the country towards being an exemplary democracy and an economic superpower.

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India Unites Against Discriminatory Law CAA-NRC

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The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Support Our Dawah for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

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